Police have no motive in Tuesday’s shooting in DickinsonPolice have revealed further details regarding a shooting that took place Tuesday morning in southwest Dickinson.
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
DICKINSON - Police have revealed further details regarding a shooting that took place Tuesday morning in southwest Dickinson.
Dickinson Police Detective Joe Cianni said during the ongoing investigation they have discovered that there was a prior relationship between the suspect, Joel Henry Wetzel, and Patricia Ann Ewoniuk; however they are unaware how long the relationship lasted.
Wetzel broke into Ewoniuk’s home early Tuesday morning and shot her roommate Arnold Sickler in the leg.
Wetzel then returned outside, where he was shot by one of four police officers responding to a phone call from Ewoniuk.
No motive for the crime has been determined, but Wetzel has been charged with burglary and reckless endangerment. Cianni said those charges are subject to change as the investigation goes on.
Police were able to interview both Ewoniuk and Sickler about the incident, but are waiting for Wetzel’s condition to improve before interviewing him.
A bolt-action .308 rifle was used during the crime. One casing was found in the house and several other were found outside on the lawn. Cianni said they have not been able to locate all the bullets fired.
Cianni said its difficult to determine where the bullets went, saying they have a good idea of where he was standing when the casings were ejected, but they have no way of determining where he was shooting.
Dickinson Police Chief Chuck Rummel provided an update regarding the investigation into the officers’ participation in the incident.
Rummel said the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation should finish up their investigation later this week, but it appears proper protocol was followed during the incident which ended with an officer firing upon Wetzel and striking him in the upper right torso.
It has also become apparent this is not the first time Wetzel has been in trouble with the law.
In 1994, Wetzel went to trial and was convicted for a crime committed in 1993. He was found guilty of reckless manslaughter, which was classified as passion provoked and second degree assault in Brighton, Colo.
Wetzel was sentenced to 12 years in prison on the reckless manslaughter count and 18 months consecutive on the second degree assault count. He was credited 393 days served.